World Asthma Day 2023

Tue 2nd May 2023


The aim of World Asthma Day is to raise awareness, care and support for those affected by asthma. Whilst the primary focus is supporting the person with asthma, support may also extend to family, friends and caregivers.

Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs which causes breathing problems. Symptoms of asthma include breathlessness, coughing, wheezing and a feeling of tightness in the chest.

These symptoms vary in frequency and severity. When the symptoms are not under control, the airways can become inflamed making breathing difficult. Whilst asthma can not be cured, the symptoms can be controlled enabling people with asthma to live full lives.

World Asthma Day is supported by the organization GINA, the Global Initiative for Asthma which works with health care groups around the world to help raise awareness. GINA is an initiative taken by the US based National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLB). World Asthma Day is also supported by the World Asthma Foundation.

The World Asthma Foundation Supports This Day

World Asthma Day was established in 1998; the first event was set to coincide with the first World Asthma Meeting (WAM) in Barcelona, Spain. Over 35 countries were involved. Over time, World Asthma Day has grown and is widely recognized as the worlds most important asthma awareness event.

Logo World Asthma Foundation

The World Asthma Foundation Supports This Day

As with many other awareness events, a theme is often set for this day which provides a focus for activities.

During previous World Asthma Days, the theme had been 'Reduce The Burden Of Asthma'. People with asthma were made aware of positive steps they can take to help them cope with their condition.

Positive Steps For Coping With Asthma

  1. Prepare a personal asthma management plan with the help of doctor. The management plan is tailored to the person with asthma and will cover which medications should be taken at certain times during the day and which risk factors of asthma to avoid.
  2. Take relevant medications prescribed by your doctor which relieve symptoms of asthma and control related inflammation and swelling of the airways.
  3. Educate yourself about the risk factors of asthma which can bring on symptoms and make the condition worse.
  4. Learn to recognize when the symptoms are becoming worse.
  5. Be prepared in case you have an asthma attack. This could include carrying a card which informs others about your condition and gives instructions on what to do when you have a severe asthma attack.

For 2012, (and for a number of preceding years) the theme has been 'You Can Control Your Asthma'. This theme coincides with GINA's campaign to reduce worldwide asthma hospitalizations by half, by the year 2015. By educating people with asthma how to control their symptoms, it is hoped that the incidence of severe asthma attacks will fall and also the subsequent number of hospital visits.

Activities & Resources Which Raise Awareness

GINA provides many free resources for health care organizations, charities and members of the public who wish to organize their own awareness activities for World Asthma Day. World Asthma Day activities may include:

  • free asthma screening clinics at a local surgery or hospitalizations
  • arranging media advertisements (radio, TV, internet)
  • organizing debates about local factors which can affect asthma sufferers
  • setting up a free asthma telephone help line
  • educating children about asthma in a fun manner using games

Ideas for fund raising events include, sponsored activities such as walks, swims and runs.

For more information please visit the dedicated World Asthma Day website.